BIG FAT LIAR
You. Me. Every person ever born. That Bible verse about whited sepulchers was one of the shining moments in the Bible where someone actually got it right (usually that person was Jesus but who’s keeping tally?). I’ve been thinking about it a lot recently.
Keeping a very, very long story short, when I went home to “deal with” the man who raped me, my dad kept saying “After we just do this, it will all be over. We can get better.” And I pointed out to him “Dad. I will carry this for the rest of my life. It will never be over for me, I just get to live with it.”
He did not like that. He’s an engineer. He thinks that if we just do fig 1. process 2. I will be “fixed”.
And he also does not empathize well with emotional reactions because he himself exercises extremely rigid control of his emotions. He had to be that way. If you ever met my grandma (his mom) you’d know why. She was a manipulative, controlling influence in his life and she took a lot from me and my family.
My mother, his wife, has too many emotions all at once and they are constantly running the show. So between the two of them I have PMS type mood swings on steroids. I never learned to show vulnerability. If I am being emotionally vulnerable.
So I did the exams…. And I couldn’t finish them.
I can run on a leg that is cracking beneath me (true story), but all that lady did was TOUCH me very VERY gently in “THAT AREA”- which I actually call “The goddess”. There’s a writer named Rupi Kaur who wrote this book Milk and Honey which is worth at least one read, especially if you have ever been abused or your religion is extremely anti-sex.
Sidenote that book was wonderful I should probably post about it.
I was always taught- not just by rape- but by my family and my religion that there was something very very wrong and evil with being a sexual person. It was like you weren’t supposed to think about sex at all, or even have those feelings towards someone- not even desire- until you were married. Only how do you get married if you aren’t even interested in sex? In K-dramas it works but in real life, how can you possibly sign yourself off to that big huge commitment with that societal pressure to build your little white picket fence and 2.5 child family, without even desiring the person you’re with?
For me sex and love are completely disconnected. And I learned to shut down all sexual feelings from a very very very young age. Think from the age of 5 I was being told in a hushed voice not to do this or that regarding my “privates” and then as I got older being schooled about sex. My mother tried to reinforce positive attitudes like “sex is great! I really enjoy it!” But what neither of us knew at the time was that I’d been raped for about 9 years before she told me that and at church I was told that it was evil and wicked to even feel feelings of sexual attraction. I was supposed to dress modestly so that I wouldn’t influence men to have bad behavior. And if I did see something sexual in nature I reacted very violently to it, and I would look at things and “unsex” them to the point that no sexy advertisement (my family is Mormon. no porn or anything like unto it in our house) could arouse me. No boy either. And in my mind I was being a “good girl” and someday when I got married the switch would just flip the other way and I’d do my job like a “good girl” have sex, have the kids, and spent eternity with my beloved oh-so-good husband.
I was proud of myself then but looking back now I feel a lot of loss for the normal sexual development I should have had.
I erroneously walked away with the idea that I was bad. Even when I liked a boy I avoided him and made fun of him and very rarely did I ever put myself out there. I didn’t know why, but I always got so aggressive when a guy tried to flirt with me.
I think part of the reason I do this is because of all the shame I carried, not just from the rape, but how things unfolded for me afterwards. And now I’m older and I know for a fact that a man can keep his hands to himself and he isn’t irresistibly compelled to assault a woman. He can desire her, yes, but does he have to act on it? No. And if she says no, no means no. Rape does not happen if the rapist listens to that two letter word which literally, a dog understands the word no. I refuse to believe that a man CAN’T control himself.
Honestly as I have thought about it a lot of religious teachings that a man is weak-willed and a naturally sexual person actually degrades men. Like any person, we have a choice in everything we do. In cases of mental illness, yep, I am excluding psychotic breaks. But pretty much 7 billion people on this earth have one thing in common- agency. No matter our circumstances there is always an opportunity to decide to change things. It is prisons we build in our own minds that hold us back from our potential.
And I’m a prime example of the whited sepulcher on this one but maybe this will help both of us out.
Back to my point I have always hated my femininity. I hated the role I thought the church wanted me to be- the little Mormon mommy baking the cookies for Sunday School, giving her husband whatever he wants, keeping the house clean, raising her own little football team of overachieving children who all turn out clean-cut, well behaved, and go on missions and get married 3 days after they come home. I never liked the idea of sex. I would always think that I wanted to get married in the temple like the most beautiful, perfect, virginal princess, but that I would only have sex to get kids.
I was about 10 when I was like that. And I haven’t changed my mind except now I lowkey hate men and will punch the lights out of one who tries to make a move on me and gets too close.
When I did the exam and the nurse- who I have to say was above and beyond the call of duty- it hurt like hell. I did take comfort in the nurse, she had the best bedside manner and she was so, soo real with me. Just the right kind of professional for this type of exam. I walked out feeling absolutely defeated. I felt like the burden on my shoulders had just added Dwayne Johnson sitting on my shoulders yelling “FORWARD” asides all the metaphoric bricks I was already carrying.
For the record- never give Dwayne Johnson a piggyback ride if you feel at all attached to having a spine.
But as soon as she touched the goddess I was in so much pain. It burned like fire and listen, I have a high pain threshold. My period cramps, according to my grandma who was the same way with her period, are labor pains. And I could go through 5 days of dizziness, nausea, blackouts, weakness, and vomiting- and not cry. I can run on a stress fracture and still make varsity. I am a tough bitch. But this hurt on a scale I could barely handle.
I was holding onto the bar of the examination table so hard that my hands shook afterwards.
What I didn’t expect was the emotional repercussions of those exams. The feeling of failure. Of helplessness. Feeling like it was the rape all over again because I found out I’m going to have to go see MORE doctors.
Somebody throw some freakin’ confetti because it’s rainin’ good news.
That was absolutely sarcasm.
I came home to Hawaii and everything went out of control emotionally. I have always been able to get out of bed. But suddenly, I couldn’t. And I was taking prescribed sleep meds. I haven’t been able to sleep before 1:00 am since November but suddenly I’m sleeping 14 hours and making myself go back to sleep despite bad dreams and waking up crying my eyes out because I’m so lonely because
I. Just. Can’t. Handle. Life. Right. Now.
I put my facebook status as “I’m having a hard time” And basically checked out. I haven’t answered any calls or messages for days. I have barely been able to leave the house. I can’t finish a single meal. I can only eat half of it.
There are phases with depression and my other demons (anorexia nervosa and post-traumatic stress disorder) where you are in physical unseen pain. This type of pain is enough to drive anyone insane. It has no real outlet that works. The pain is bottomless. There is no end in sight, there is no physical wound that’s pouring out blood, but at the same time you hurt so bad you lay there all day and you cannot move.
I do not have any idea what causes it but if I had to make a guess I would say it’s what happens when someone’s spirit gets very badly broken. The deepest, most intimate pain. And I realized, probably because I’ve had a few days of just watching movies and painting and only going out to go to the doctor or dance hula, that I carry this pain all the time. It is never gone. I have just been so distracted by all this business that I wear like thick armor. But I found my chink.
Going home was traumatic enough, but then when I came back, and there was a guy straight up offering me physical touch (as in making out, but I am the boss and if I say I just want to cuddle he damn well better shut up and cuddle me) and I just snapped.
For someone who got the diagnosis I did, who got a totally new and exciting announcement that no, we’re not even halfway, more doctors for you, more therapy, oh and the service dog is $30,000, when that guy was offering I was so so soo tempted. I went home a few hours later. I couldn’t sleep all night because I was un poquito turned on by his salacious behavior and my mind would not stop running it through my head over and over again. I felt so much loss and so much anger and so much frustration and hell I just wanted to call him over and say “Kay we are cuddling on this couch, you do anything I don’t approve and I kick you out.” And just be there and let someone hold me and despite my eternal love-hate relationship with the opposite sex, they make very snuggly pillows. And muscular big Tongans and Samoan guys who cares about the sixpack when you can have a keg. mwah.
I’m biased though. My best physical relationships were with guys of Polynesian who-knows-what descent. Samoan. Samoan Tongan Hawaiian Japanese I got no clue but he has a super long Hawaiian name. These were big, muscular, Polynesian-looking guys. And they were safe. I completely trusted them. And if I am being honest I think part of my defense against a boyfriend, is being backed by 4 or 5 guyfriends at all times. Ain’t nobody gonna hit on me when I have that kind of backup.
I could not sleep because I felt so starved and so lonely and no matter what I did that my therapist recommended, nothing was filling my true hunger. Food wasn’t it. Laughing at cute puppy videos wasn’t it. Journaling. Exercise. And that’s when I shut down.
I got so upset at all the damage done to me by that rapist that I have been through so much trying to take care of, and then when I do want just a cuddle, I literally shove the guy away and get aggressive with him because when I look into his eyes, I see a rapist. And he’s typically not! But in the trust department men score very very low with me. It took me over a year for any type of trust between me and my 2 main guyfriends in high school and I have a guy best friend right now and that’s about the same amount of time.
I am tortured by desire. The desire for connection. For behind held. For feeling like I matter to someone. I think part of the reason I took my little break wasn’t just because I was in unbearable invisible pain, I think it is because I realized that 99% of the people I interact think I am the happiest person they have ever met.
The idea of running into that guy again and saying no and shoving him away when what I really want to say is “Hi, you want to be useful? Cuddle. Now.”- and the truth is I hate myself either way when that happens. Men have used me because of that before, because deep down, I am cuddly, and I am also a ferocious beast. Typically I am tamed by cuddles. But men have violated me so deeply that it seems I would rather starve myself of all connection than open myself up to that hurt again.
I met with my new bishop yesterday and gave him a summary of the past 2 1/2 years.
It’s kind of fun watching men react to my story because no matter how stoic he thinks he is, I can get him to emote. And normal, run-of-the-mill men? They basically go into shock. A man who hasn’t had close and personal experience with rape they just can’t even imagine that happening to someone. I like to crush their dreams in that regard. Too many women are silenced. I refuse.
What he said is that he first of all admired my courage to go through this, he was amazed at how much of this I have shouldered on my own (what choice did I have?), and he admired my being a go-getter and coming to college and dancing hula and doing what I love despite all the burdens on my shoulders.
He is on the ball. You’ll be hearing about this one again but this post is super long and my back hurts really bad so TBC on him for now.
I wrote down this quote on my arm the other day
“On a day like today, all you can do is be brave.” ❤
I will get everything together. I’ve done it before. So many times. And so often alone. But right now I think I need a very, very good reason why I shouldn’t just throw men out the window. Basically for the past 4 days if you check my phone the calls and texts are all from guyfriends.
I intellectually know that they care, but in my heart, I can’t feel anything. Just pain.
So here’s the question for me, and for you.
When the chips are down, what motivates you to get off your butt and do what has to be done? What in this world, matters so much to you, that you’ll sacrifice anything to get it?
As soon as I know the answer to that question, I’ll put my heart back into the fight.